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HSLDA legal contacts for November/December 2002



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Sharon Springs adopts faulty policy

In December, a Home School Legal Defense Association family forwarded to us a copy of the recently revised homeschooling policy of Sharon Springs Central School District. After reviewing the policy, HSLDA Attorney Dewitt Black determined that virtually every provision of the policy is contrary to the state regulation governing home instruction programs. The policy requires that:

  • suitable teaching materials are used and a suitable schedule is planned as determined by the superintendent;

  • the instructors are deemed competent by the public school administrators;

  • the home instruction program is substantially equivalent to that necessary to meet the requirements of the New York State Education Department;

  • a program is planned by the superintendent and parents to monitor quarterly the progress of the student; and

  • the students receiving home instruction participate in and obtain an acceptable score on state tests mandated for public school students.

Black sent the superintendent of schools a critique of this policy and requested that the school district rescind it. It is uncertain what action Sharon Springs will take, but HSLDA stands ready to defend the rights of any of our member families threatened by this policy.

Interestingly, the policy claimed its purpose was to determine compliance with the home instruction regulation, 100.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. This presents another example of the need to simplify the homeschool law of New York by enacting reform legislation.

Dewitt T. Black